Euphorbia pentagona Royle
Euphorbia royleana is an erect, succulent, spiny, shrub growing up to 3 metres tall, or becoming a small tree p to 8 metres. The main stem can be 40 - 50cm in diameter, producing many branches up to 7cm in diameter from its upper parts[
]. Looking rather cactus-like, the plant does produce leaves for part of the year, but most photosynthesis is carried out by the green stems.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is sometimes grown to provide a stock-proof fence and is also grown as an ornamental.
Although we have seen no specific information for this plant, the latex in most, if not all Euphorbias is caustic and toxic - skin contact often causing irritation and blistering; contact with the eyes causing temporary or even permanent blindness; whilst ingestion can cause purging or more severe problems[
E. Asia - southern China, Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, Myanmar
Subtropical rainshadow valleys, forming its own communities on rocky slopes[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Euphorbia royleana is a plant mainly of semi-arid, subtropical regions. It dislikes moist climates but can tolerate some frost, being undamaged at -4°c so long as it is not wet[
]. It can succeed outdoors only in the mildest, semi-arid regions of the temperate zone.
Requires a sunny position in a freely-draining soil[
The stems are used in the treatment of asthma[
The plant is traditionally grown in living fences in the northwestern Himalayas and southern China, where it helps to exclude livestock and other animals; mark out land boundaries; whilst also providing a range of medicinal and other uses[
Cuttings root easily. They need to be stored in light shade for a few days to dry before being planted, or else they will rot. It is best to plant the cuttings when the rain is about to stop, in a well-drained soil[